Kyiv ∙ Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces in Ukraine have started a referendum on joining Russia. Ukraine and the West have described the referendum, which is being held by a regional pro-Russian rebel government, as an illegal exercise.
The authorities have placed a ban on some in these areas from going to other places until next Tuesday, when the referendum ends. There are complaints that the Russian army is threatening to enter houses to vote. Those who were not in favor of Russia had already fled here when the war started. Referenda have also started among Ukrainian refugees in Russia.
These states of the Donbass region are controlled by Russian forces through this military operation. Russia decided to start the plebiscite shortly after Ukrainian forces recaptured several areas here. The Ministry of Defense has warned that any attack on these areas which have been annexed by Russia will be treated as an attack against Russia.
At the same time, Russia launched a heavy blow from the city of Melitopol in Zaporizhia. Ukrainian forces have stepped up their offensive in Donetsk.
Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy and a friend of Putin, said that President Vladimir Putin had invaded Ukraine to impose “noble rule” in Kiev and that the plan to return within a week had failed.
Guterres, Pope and Modi should take Mexico’s suggestion
New York – Mexico proposed to the Security Council to try to end the conflict between Ukraine-Russia by forming a committee including the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, Pope Francis and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Lui Ebrada Casaban, said it was time for the international community to step forward for peace.
The demand is for the committee to mediate diplomatic negotiations with both sides for lasting peace. During the SCO meeting in Samarkand, Modi told Putin that ‘this is not the time for war’, which was welcomed by the countries of the world, including the United States and France. The Security Council discussed the report published by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights regarding the war crimes committed in Ukraine.
English summary: Russia begins referendum